What Should You Look for When Hiring a CPA?

You can’t do it all. I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase before.  A major problem that I see in the small business world is that owners think they can handle every function of the business themselves.  If you are trying to truly grow revenues you need to take a step away and let experts help support you.

In my experience, the company’s financials are the most neglected area of all the business functions. Most entrepreneurs view accounting as a cost of doing business rather than a value-added service.  What a short-sighted thought!  I know I’m biased but I truly believe an expert CPA will provide you valuable insights to how to move forward both effectively and efficiently.

Last week I wrote the article Does It Truly Matter If My Accountant Is a CPA?  One of my readers commented that he had a bad experience with a CPA in the past.  These types of things happen, so doing your own due diligence is a requirement before making a hire.  So how do you know which CPA would be a fit for you small business?  On top of being knowledgeable and experienced, below are the key points all small business owners should consider:

  • Entrepreneurial Spirit – anyone can crunch numbers and put them in a spreadsheet. You need someone who is a business man/woman and will think about your business first. They should be providing you with year-round guidance and planning.
  • Embraces Technology – having an advisor who emphasizes and utilizes technology will bring a multitude of efficiencies and this can lead to substantial savings, both with your time and financially.
  • Opposite Personality – I believe you need someone who will push you when you are uncertain or even pull you back at times. Having someone who agrees with everything you are saying will not help you move forward.
  • Excellent Communicator – he or she needs to return your phone calls, e-mails, text messages, etc within 24 to 48 hours max.   It also imperative that your CPA be able to break down complicated financial issues in simple, everyday language.
  • Company Size Matters – if you are small business and choose a large firm, you most likely will not get the attention you need since you are not a high-fee paying client. As you begin your business you need someone who will be treat you as their #1 client and not as the little fish in a big pond.

Of course these are not every factor you consider so make sure you interview a few different CPAs before you make your final choice. If you have any questions feel free to ask me!